I spent a fabulous weekend in London last week and it was just the tonic I needed to de-stress after another hectic week. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining, people were smiling, I ate the most exquisite food until I could literally have popped and was in such great company the whole time. Walking along the River Thames felt like time stood still, and after some delicious cocktails in the evening it was just what I needed to wander around the food markets and lay on the grass in the sunshine content with an ice cream and just watching the world go by.
Everybody needs a bit of time out once in a while, and God knows I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for the best part of this year in particular and beyond. But now that I find this golden time on my hands when the children are visiting family, I’ve had to almost reconfigure how I do ‘life’ again. I don’t have to worry about meal times or messy nappies, tired little legs or snotty noses; and dare I say it I’m relived but I miss the children when they’re away from me. So instead I’m walking, reading, working out, having a glass of wine and enjoying the wonders around me and seeing friends and family that I’d sadly lost touch with in the humdrum of family life. My home has never been so ordered, content and well stocked because I’ve actually got the time to finish tasks for once instead of always starting something, getting tangled up in something else, playing catchup with my tasks and burning myself out never being any further forward.
It’s a difficult thing being a parent, by far the best thing in the world yet also the hardest. I never stop worrying about my children, no matter how old and capable they become, and I can’t help but doubt my decisions and choices on a daily basis as I wonder if what I do is the right thing. Should Millie leave the rest of her dinner or do I make her stay at the table and finish it all when she says she’s full up and tired? Should I let Gabriele have a treat or will he grow up craving junk food because of early childhood tastes? The questions and hesitations are endless and unforgiving and I know that I look so much further into them than I should but I really can’t help it. The most beautiful thing in life is having a family and teaching your children to love and respect one another but at the same time having a family changes everything about you and makes every day a live minefield to cross. As a single adult life is pretty simple and straightforward, but as a single parent life is chaotic and worrisome. How can you be both one and the same all at once? And most importantly how can you do what’s right for everyone involved, let alone what you need for yourself? It hurts my head just thinking about it! Aren’t you pleased that you’re not me right now! 🙂
But I am pretty proud of myself right now for recovering from my breast surgery and getting my post-pregnancy body into shape for summer. I love to keep fit and eat well whilst I exercise and I was pleasantly greeted by The Game magazine dropping through my letterbox today featuring my blog review of a herbal supplement that I covered. I love finding products that help you to keep fit and stay healthy, I enjoyed reviewing the Voltz 100% natural raspberry ketones and dropping some excess weight following my surgery when it was a delicate time to take exercise. And I was delighted to share my blog details with a sports and leisure magazine who covered my workout diary in a double page spread. A little bit of appreciation goes a long way!
This week a television crew came to my home to film with me and the children and we had a lovely day. It’s nice to be involved in such fun and exciting things and I’m looking forward to it all airing soon as Millie in particular is very excited to see herself on the television.
I’ve had a little free time to top up my tan and go shopping as I continue to replace my old wardrobe to fit my new body. And when I look in the mirror I’m actually happy with what I now see. I don’t think anyone will ever be 100% satisfied with how they look, but it’s safe to say there is nothing wrong with me, I just have imperfections that I know I can’t change but that’s what makes me human. I’m the first person to point out my flaws and body hang-ups, as a mother of two I’m a million miles away from how I was pre-pregnancy just six years ago but at the same time I’ve worked hard to get my body back into a reasonably good shape. I love reading emails from expectant mothers who worry about getting stretch marks and how their bodies will change after a pregnancy, and I hope that in showing you my journey warts and all you can see how incredible the human body is at adjusting and changing during different stages of life.
Your feedback means so much to me and I’m deeply touched to know that my thoughts, feelings and journey have helped others to realise that they are not alone. Life is not always easy, it isn’t straight forward and it definitely doesn’t go to plan, but it is what you make it. Tomorrow will always be a new day and a fresh chance, the opportunity to turn things around for the better and to reach for your dreams. You should always share your feelings, whether it’s with others or in a diary, just to get it out of your head, digest it and learn from it. And sadly we must all suffer in life and go through times that test us but they teach us to be stronger. It isn’t easy for me to admit when I’m struggling, I like to think that there isn’t anything I couldn’t overcome in life with determination and willpower, but there’s been times over the years when I’ve questioned my own strength and ability, and I’ve always walked away from it a stronger and better person because of it.
I believe you should treat others how you’d like to be treated, and give everybody the time of day; I’d crawl the earth on my hands and knees for my children and my heart swells with love for people in need who I’ve never met but feel destined to help. I am who I am, I can’t and wouldn’t want to change the way I treat others because I’ll go to the ends of the earth to help people who deserve my time and I see nothing wrong with that. You lead your life by example, by the daily actions that you take and not the things you say you’ll do but fail to fulfil. The proof is in the pudding and boy oh boy do I love my pudding! Giving without expecting anything in return is the most liberating feeling and I’m proud to say that I’ve gone out of my way to help many individuals, charities, families and businesses to achieve their goals and hearing a genuine “Thank you” stays in my heart forever and only encourages me to do more.
If ten people looked at this picture of me I can guarantee every single one would have a different opinion. My true friends would say well done for working out so hard after having the children, acquaintances might snap that I must be naturally skinny and ignore all of the hard work that I constantly put in, and those who think they know me undoubtedly moan that I’m attention seeking and looking for compliments by showing off my body. But if you want to know why I write my blog and why I share my journey warts and all it’s to give others hope, to bring motivation to an otherwise stagnant world and to inspire others to try harder, never give up and to realise that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Illness, heartbreak, uncertainty are merely hurdles in life and the harder you work and the further you go the easier they become to jump. And for those who have read my previous blog posts you’ll know that not such a long time ago these bikini pictures were of me four-stone heavier from pregnancy with stretch marks and swollen ankles wired up to hospital machinery and on medication from a breast reconstruction, so I hope you’ll excuse my audacity in how I look and feel about myself today as I’ve come a long way.
Everybody has a story to tell, a life of twists and turns and heartache and happiness as it makes us who we are. You can never judge people on first impressions or hearsay because more often than not you will be completely wrong. Unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes there is no need to pass judgement and reinforce negative opinions of others because it will only ever encourage bullying and bad feeling; and as my blog title this week so neatly sums this up, your actions speak louder than words. I’d like to think that we are all individuals, we all have our own mind and the ability to tell right from wrong. There are many many amazing people in this world who are given such a hard time and don’t deserve it, who suffer in silence and do battle with the world around them on a daily basis for no reason whatsoever. And you have to ask yourself, what if that was your child who was in that position? How would you feel? And how would you help them? If you take anything away from reading my blog today, then please let it be understanding, compassion and kindness to others. A smile goes a long way to brighten someones day, holding a door for the person behind you or having that extra little bit of patience with others makes a world of difference. And the next time you hear somebody talking negatively about someone, instead of feeding off of it ask them what business it has to do with them and see what their reaction is.
And finally I rounded off this weekend with another spot of filming with the fantastic NoToMob in London for a television documentary which I will let you know about once it goes to air later on this year.
I’m seriously considering learning to ride a motorbike as riding as a passenger once more was so much fun. It was so calming and peaceful and a sense of freedom that I’ve not rivalled in my daily life so far. It’s a way of looking at the world from a different perspective, actually feeling the air for once and seeing the world on the open road slowly blur past you in an accelerated kind of haze. I’m wondering if there is such a thing as vegetarian friendly bike leathers? Hmm…